Growing your business by embracing an integrated real estate tech stack
Krista Thomsen, Director of Strategic Partnerships
Technology fatigue is a real thing. Running a brokerage requires so many different technologies, applications, services, and platforms that it can most certainly make your head spin. So how do you decide what to purchase, what to build, and what is truly valuable to your business?
Consider the technology arm of your brokerage business like a new construction home. You start by identifying the floor plan of your business from a technology standpoint. How many rooms do you need and what type of rooms? Translate that into the makeup of your staff. Are you heavy on marketing? Do you support a team atmosphere? Or, are you empowering solo agents to make their mark? These questions will help you build a foundation for your technology needs to then help you begin to select your trim level (flashy vs. functional), additions (ancillary integrated features and products), and options (contracted services you provide to your staff).
Let’s keep building this house, shall we?
From the ground up.
The basis of any successful business, in real estate or not, is how your employees manage their data. The functionality, performance, and feature set of a standard customer relationship management (CRM) tool are key factors in making this decision. Ensuring that your agents and other staff will be able to seamlessly use the system you choose in the office or on the go is crucial to everyone's success. Much like your new home's foundation, your business's foundation rests in the data and how you manage it.
Bonus rooms, or bedrooms?
Teams operate like small, well-oiled machines. Team requirements from a data management perspective differ greatly from that of a solo agent. Teams require a more collaborative space that could include gamification, lead conversion and tracking, and team lead oversight. Solo agents need a space where they can comfortably manage their own pipeline, work their sphere, and have their stats roll up to brokerage management.
What about the fun, sexy, add-ons?!
Many platforms will offer fully integrated services and products at the enterprise level. Marketing automation, advertising, presentations, websites...the list can go on. These are all crucial pieces to a platform you offer your agents and staff for recruiting and retention purposes. But remember, nothing is a one-stop shop. Sometimes you need to subcontract some custom work on your new build to increase the value and sizzle a bit more. To recruit and retain agents you will need to go the extra ½ mile. Why ½ a mile you ask? Because you can’t do everything for your agents. You as a brokerage are in a unique position to provide technology that is easy to use, integrated, cost-effective, and entices your agents. But ultimately it’s up to them to actually use it.
So now that we have the building blocks of our new home, 'er tech stack, where do you start? Here are a few of my favorites I always recommend for your stack:
Yes, I know I said this is part of your foundational technology. However, some of the best business marketing dollars are spent on advertising, and the returns are fruitful. Setting aside a budget at the business level for brokerage advertising, and focusing a piece of that on your agents as a bonus to them, will absolutely benefit your bottom line. Read: increased home sales, brand recognition, agent recruiting and retention.
Many enterprise platforms, MoxiWorks included, offer simple-to-use targeted advertising to help build and maintain your reputation in the market. Coupled with print and digital marketing you'll have a well-rounded approach.
The biggest obstacle agents find themselves up against is keeping detailed notes of conversations with their sphere. Selecting technology that will track that on their behalf whether that is a call, text, email, video message, etc. will make you stand out as a brokerage. Finding a service that integrates communication tracking into your foundation is crucial. Ask the important questions: what are the integration points? Is the product mobile-friendly? Is it TCPA compliant? These are the tough questions that will get you past the sparkly you are being sold.
At the end of the day, nobody wants to work with an agent or a brokerage with a stale or non-existent reputation. Chances are that you and your agents have testimonials and reviews all over the internet. Find a way to aggregate those and market/display them effectively. Reviews should be included not only on your website but in your social media marketing, drip campaigns, presentations, and print marketing.
There are a few products in the prop-tech industry that do this seamlessly. Your questions when identifying the right platform should be like any technology purchase: what platforms do you integrate with? How do you promote reviews and testimonials? Do you have control over the content in your reviews?
Wrap it up in a nice bow
Gifting in the real estate industry is a key strategy to not only thank clients for their business but also stay top of mind. Staying in tune with events that are important to home buyers and sellers can really take your reputation to the next level. Isn’t that something an agent should take care of? Probably, for the most part. But, in the vein of recruiting and retaining agents you subsidizing some of the gifting can be a game changer. This also gives you control over your brand awareness. Most reputable gifting companies integrate into your foundation.
These are just a few vital ancillary services and products I recommend adding to your technology stack as a brokerage. When it gets down to brass tacks, your investment in your agents, if done smartly, will pay off tremendously. Now, go forth and set your brokerage and agents up for success in 2023. Cut out the noise and focus on the core elements of doing business in real estate. After all, back to basics really is the future of Real Estate.
As a parting gift, here are a few MoxiCloud Integrated Partners that can help you grow your business:
To learn more about the MoxiCould and partner program, visit moxiworks.com/integration.
Krista Thomsen, Director of Strategic Partnerships
With over 8 years in the Real Estate Technology Industry including 6 years with Zillow Group, Krista’s expertise ranges from Mortgage, Real Estate, Advertising, and Technology Integrations. Krista brings a wealth of industry knowledge, relationships, technical expertise, and professionalism. During her time at MoxiWorks, Krista has developed the MoxiCloud Partner Program into a world-class integration marketplace. She has positioned MoxiWorks as an industry leader in third-party integrations, product enhancements, and cross-platform relationships.